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Javid says GP access getting ‘back to normal’ on England tour 

Javid says GP access getting ‘back to normal’ on England tour 

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said that access to GP services is ‘getting back to normal’, according to reports.

The health secretary is this week on a road trip across the country to promote his recovery plan, which was finally published last week after several delays.

He is reported to have made the comments during the Cheshire leg of his tour, at the opening of a new emergency department at Leighton Hospital in Crewe yesterday.

According to local newspaper Cheshire Live, Mr Javid said: ‘I think most people understand why at the height of the pandemic, especially before we had the vaccines, people couldn’t go to see GPs in a normal way.

‘The access was improving dramatically until Omicron came along. We did ask GPs during the Omicron wave to focus on vaccinations, particularly for the most vulnerable, those in care homes, those who might be homebound.

‘But now, since we’re past the worst of that, services are getting back to normal.’

It comes as NHS England last month asked GP practices to ‘restore routine services’ following the Covid booster drive.

And it follows the Government and NHS England’s GP access plan and fund, which came after months of public and media backlash during the pandemic over the idea that GP practices were closed and GPs were not seeing patients face to face.

The health secretary also claimed that we currently have ‘more doctors and nurses than ever before’, according to the local paper.

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However, after admitting in November that the Government is ‘not on track’ to meet its election pledge of 6,000 extra GPs by 2025, Mr Javid said he would ‘wait and see’ where it gets to.

The BMA has warned that falling numbers of fully-qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs in England is both unsafe and unsustainable

Announcing the week-long trip, Mr Javid said he plans to visit GPs to ‘personally thank them’ for pandemic sacrifices.

He will visit a ‘range of health and care settings to hear from staff and patients to inform future policy’ and host daily Q&As with the public to understand their experiences of the NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) added.

Mr Javid said: ‘As we learn to live with Covid, my mission is clear. We must tackle the backlog of people waiting for treatment, bring NHS and social care services closer together and deal with the stark inequalities and level up the health of the nation.

‘Nurses, doctors, GPs, vaccinators, porters and so many others have put everything on the line to care for patients and families throughout this pandemic, and that’s why I wanted to thank them personally.’

He added: ‘This week I want to hear directly from staff, patients, residents and local people about their experiences of the health and care systems and discuss my plans for NHS and social care recovery and reform.’

The health secretary’s long-awaited elective recovery plan last week suggested that GPs’ role in tackling the NHS hospital backlog will focus on the use of ‘advice and guidance’ (A&G).

Meanwhile, another Government white paper on health and social care integration last week said that plans for patients to be able to access and contribute to their shared care records are ‘underway’.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Syed Shah 17 February, 2022 5:32 pm

Will SJ kindly elaborate of what he means by ‘back to normal’ as GPs are dealing with more patients than ever before as according to our LMC the average number
of patients each GP is responsible for has increased by at least 15% – since 2015.

Dave Haddock 18 February, 2022 12:31 pm

Sadly some Practices are milking the opportunity; practice inaccessible, staff costs down, earnings up.

Tim Atkinson 18 February, 2022 5:32 pm

Care to provide evidence or are you just regurgitating something you read I the Daily Wail?

Anonymous 18 February, 2022 7:48 pm

Back to normal where pts book appts and don’t bother turning up …,
Back to normal underfunded understaffed…,
Back to normal when we have just transformed how we work for the better for pts and doctors

Patrufini Duffy 18 February, 2022 11:08 pm

Definitely. The toe nail pre-holiday, invisible dry skin patch, panic attack when I sleep, don’t want to work so give me a sick note (before Wednesday), back pain because I forgot how to move, UTI because prosecco is on offer and water tastes bad, cough because cigarettes are lung warming and standing in the cold in my t-shirt is cool, palpitations on a Sunday night because work is well, so mundane and cocaine is hipster, and this new chestnut that I can’t focus on anything, so I must have ADHD, but can focus on Netflix and Instagram and booking my holidays. Yes, we’re back to normal, spot on – with extra chilli sauce.

Long Gone 19 February, 2022 11:47 am